February 5, 2009

The Coming TV Catastrophe and How to Avoid It

Even though the date for switching to digital TV has been moved from February to June, if you're considering buying a new flat screen TV, please be responsible about disposing of your old analog tube TV. It could lead to an environmental disaster if all the old TVs are sent to a landfill. That's because they contain toxic chemicals which can leach into the groundwater.

So here are a few options for getting rid of your old television:
First, the Take Back My TV campaign is urging TV makers to accept and recycle their old products for their entire lifecycle. They've already convinced Sony, LG, and Samsung to offer takebacks. If you own one of those brands, check it out at Take Back My TV dot com.

If you own another brand, consider holding on to your old set. It will still work if you buy a converter box that will switch the signal from digital to analog. It will only cost you about twenty bucks if you get the free $40 coupon the government is offering. Look for that deal at dtv2009.gov. Their site still says February 17 is the switchover date, but I've heard and read several news reports that the date has been delayed to June 12.

If you must get a new TV and your old one isn't a brand participating in the takeback program, try selling it on eBay, or even giving it away at Craigslist or Freecycle. At least someone else will be using it and it won't end up in a landfill.

And finally, make sure your new TV is an energy-efficient one from one of the companies with a takeback program. Energy Star-qualified TVs use 30 percent less energy, so look beyond the initial sales price tag.

I got all this information from the cool magazine about green living called Whole Life Times. Check them out online at wholelifetimes.com.

If you read my post awhile back about my husband bringing home the new TV (An Addition to the Family), I just want to mention that he actually sold our old one on local Craigslist, for a nominal price. His thinking was that if people pay a little bit of money, they're less likely to trash it than if they get it for free. I don't know if that's true, but the buyer was very happy to get a second television for their bedroom. And after doing a lot of research, our new TV is a Samsung.

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